Osseo Area Schools and Metropolitan State University (School of Urban Education) have joined forces in a groundbreaking effort to develop a racially diverse teaching workforce that is committed to ensuring equitable student achievement for all students. The formal agreement was marked January 30 in a signing ceremony featuring leaders from both organizations.
The shortage of teachers, particularly teachers of color, is a national, state, and local concern. Nearly 55% of Osseo’s students are students of color, while only 5% of its staff are teachers of color. Osseo Superintendent Kate Maguire said, “The number of teacher candidates enrolling in Minnesota colleges and universities has decreased over the past five years, and the state of Minnesota is facing a critical teacher shortage. We know that effective teachers, of all races and ethnicity, are essential to ensuring that all students achieve at high levels and that we are accelerating the achievement of those students who are not yet meeting our highest expectations. We believe that growing a teacher workforce that better reflects the students and families we serve is a strategic action to improve student achievement.”
Several characteristics of the Metro State-Osseo partnership make it both distinctive and pioneering:
- Metro State students will receive preferential consideration for employment in Osseo paraprofessional and teaching positions; they will also receive preferential placement for Osseo student teaching positions.
- Graduates of the Urban Education program will have access to the teacher career ladder program at Osseo Area Schools, which includes:
- Ability to earn full pay and benefits while student teaching;
- Extra protection from layoffs by earning up to two years of additional seniority upon gaining continuing contract status.
- Certain admission procedures have been adjusted to make it easier for Osseo Area Schools employees to apply to Metro State’s School of Urban Education.
- Classes may be offered on site to current Osseo Area Schools employees, allowing non-licensed staff to pursue a teaching license and advance their career.
- Osseo Area Schools will promote Metropolitan State University’s School of Urban Education programs to current students and employees.
The Metro State-Osseo partnership supports the school district’s strategic plan priority work to build toward a workforce that reflects the demographics of enrolled students.
Pictured: Metropolitan State University President Virginia Arthur, J.D., and Osseo Area Schools Superintendent Kate Maguire, Ed.D.